Israeli Border Police Officers Held on Suspicion of Assaulting, Robbing Palestinians

Officers suspected of eight different incidents over period of months are also suspected of fraud, breach of trust, obstruction of justice and abusing their positions

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Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem (illustrative photo), April 8, 2020
Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem (illustrative photo), April 8, 2020Credit: Ariel Schalit/AP

Three Border Police officers were arrested Sunday on suspicion of aggravated assault and armed robbery of Palestinians at the Meitar checkpoint in the south, in eight different incidents over a number of months.

The three officers, all serving in the Border Police as part of their compulsory military service, are also suspected of fraud, breach of trust, and abusing their positions. They are further suspected of obstruction of justice by coordinating their versions of the events in case they were caught. The Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court ordered them held for another four days on Monday.

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They are suspected of robbing Palestinian workers while threatening them with their guns and dividing up the loot, which the Justice Ministry’s unit that investigates police officers estimates to be worth thousands of shekels. The possibility that they operated similarly at other crossings is also being investigated. In some of the incidents, the three officers kicked and punched Palestinians, said investigators. The investigation began after a complaint from a contractor whose workers told him they had been robbed at the checkpoint on the border between the West Bank into Israel.

The lawyer for one of the suspects said his client denies all the charges, calling it a plot to take revenge on the part of the Palestinian workers because the officer “carries out his work strictly according to the rules.”

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